TOP LINE REVIEW: I LOVED MY EXPERIENCE. FLYING WITH THEM AGAIN ON MY HONEYMOON TO THE SEYCHELLES.
I recently had the opportunity to fly Etihad Airways from New York City to Johannesburg, South Africa by way of Abu Dhabi. I was familiar with the airline, most notably for the Abu Dhabi glitch fare that had everybody and their momma in the Middle East riding camels and taking photos at the Grand Mosque. However, sometimes it can still be uneasy trying a new airline, especially a foreign one, for the first time.
I will assure you that Etihad Airways provided top notch service. The staff was impeccably dressed and pleasant to be around. Because they serve the larger United Arab Emirates (UAE) and so many different cultures pass through that checkpoint for international travel, the flight attendants easily spoke at least 5 languages total.
What we really loved is that you get a little pouch for your flight that includes a toothbrush (those 14+ hour flights are NO JOKE!,) a really comfortable blanket, socks, a sleeping eye mask that noted whether or not you wanted to be interrupted for food service or not based on which side it was flipped, and so much more. There was a ton of detail and thought put into making what is normally a dreadful experience, as comfortable as possible.
The in-chair television had a plethora of movies of all genres, and multiple languages/etchnicities. We were fed great meals on an ongoing basis, from curry chicken and rice, to stewed lamb, to sandwiches, to Klondike ice cream bars. Wi-fi didn't work on any of our flights, but honestly it wasn't the worst thing in the world as we felt so taken care of,catered to and entertained.
We loved Etihad Airways so much that we are flying with them again for our honeymoon to Seychelles. They just might be my favorite airlines for my travels to Africa! Highly recommended.